Yorkdale Shopping Centre is about to make history. This October, it will become the first mall in Canada to ban all single-use plastic straws.
The initiative will launch as part of Canada’s Waste Reduction Week, which takes place on the third Monday of October each year. In place of plastic, Yorkdale’s retailers, restaurants, vendors and kiosks will offer BPI certified straws, which means they will be compostable. Shoppers can also bring their own reusable straws to use, DailyHive notes.
Plastic waste is a growing problem in Canada, and plastic straws alone are a huge contributing factor. According to the Government of Canada, nearly 57 million are used on a daily basis. That’s why a number of Canadian companies have vowed to eliminate plastic straws from their businesses. This includes Ikea, Starbucks, A&W, and Air Canada.
The federal government is also taking action. Just last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans to ban all single-use plastic in the country as early as 2021.
Yorkdale has always been known for its environmental efforts. The Toronto mall has managed to reduce waste by 85 per cent by offering reusable dinnerware, glasses, and cutlery in its food court. It also has one of the largest solar panel installations in the GTA, and offers bicycle parking stations.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Toronto mall was also one of the first shopping centres in Canada to implement a recycling program. Yorkdale is clearly making every effort to be more environmentally friendly.
“Shifting from single-use plastic straws, that go straight into the garbage, to compostable straws is just another way the centre is honouring its commitment to helping the environment,” a Yorkdale press release read.